MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Introducing: Madeon

Inspired by the space disco of Sheila B. Devotion, the P-funk of George Clinton and the sampling techniques of the Chicago dance scene, the French house movement has produced an endless supply of loop-filtering duos (Cassius, Modjo, Galleon) since Daft Punk’s ground-breaking Homework in the mid-90s.

But considering David Guetta and Bob Sinclar have all but abandoned their roots in favour of rubbing shoulders with pop royalty, 18-year-old Hugo Pierre Leclercq, aka Madeon, is the only notable vocal-chopping, funk-filtering and bass-squelching maestro currently flying solo.

Over 12 million YouTube viewers have already witnessed what he can do on the Novation Launchpad, a 64-button ‘music controller’ which allows even the most fledgling of knob-twiddlers to mix other artists’ work. Indeed, sampling everything from ELO’s “Mr Blue Sky” to Kylie Minogue’s “Wow,” Pop Culture’s brilliantly inspired mash-up of 39 diverse tracks makes The Avalanches’ cut-and-paste approach to recording appear positively mundane.

It’s a trick he repeated again for a minimix assembled exclusively for Annie Mac’s show on BBC Radio 1, one of his most high-profile champions. Only this time he upped the ante considerably, cramming 93 songs, ranging from ABC’s “The Look Of Love” to Muse’s “Hysteria” into an unashamedly hyperactive five-minute whirlwind of noise.

Madeon’s remixing skills may have helped to guide his journey from bedroom DJing obscurity to Coachella-performing, Swedish House Mafia-supporting and So You Think You Can Dance-soundtracking fame, particularly his competition-winning reworking of Pendulum’s “The Island,” which led to similar gigs on singles by Deadmau5 (“Raise Your Weapon”), Yelle (“Que Veux-Tu”) and Martin Solveig (“The Night Out”).

But far from the one-trick pony his rather gimmicky viral hits may suggest, Madeon’s own material is just as intriguing. Early releases such as the vocodered chillwave of “Gold” and the Sonic The Hedgehog-meets-Justice electro of “For You” showed potential. However, it’s the tracks from his upcoming as-yet-unnamed E.P. which prove he’s capable of realising that potential, from the shimmering nu-disco of “Shuriken,” to the swirling funky prog of “Icarus,” to the emphatic dubstep of “Finale,” the latter of which features a rare vocal courtesy of Walk The Moon’s Nicholas Petricca.

At the forefront of the newly-christened ‘mad maximalist’ scene whilst still in his teens, it would take a brave man to bet against Madeon reaching superstar DJ status before he reaches his twenties.

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Electronic Music


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